Thursday, January 27, 2011

I could have laughed or cried

My little Sarah is certainly thorough! No, a little snip on the side wasn't enough. It had to be all around the head. Atleast she put all of her hair in the bin before she came down the stairs declaring that she had cut her hair without cutting herself once! She was so proud of herself.

I like retro, but that doesn't include the Mullet!

I was speechless. What can you say. It's taken 4 years to get her hair to the length it was (yes, her hair grows VERY slowly).

But, "put it in perspective Kate... its only hair"... so I laughed (a kind of nervous, high pitched laugh).  Atleast I have some photos to bring out at her 21st now :)

The hairdresser did a pretty good job I think.

And I think Sarah likes her new style.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Lightening bug/ Munki quilt top finished

I tried to wonk them up so they were more vertically and horizonally wonky instead of too angled. Not sure how I feel about it yet, I'll let you know once I've quilted it.

I've added matching Heather Ross spots on the back (it feels sooo nice) and it is all ready for me to hand quilt in white perle cotton no.8.

It's not too late to join the quilt-a-long here.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Auction ends - thankyou all!

Shari's very generous bid, which came in an hour after the auction began, has held fast all week at $500. Thanks so much Shari - this quilt will be winging its way over to you very soon. I'll be in touch.

The other great news is that we hit the $500 mark from the sale of my quilt patterns earlier today! I've just made the payment to the Flood Appeal and it felt so good to make that contribution on your behalf. So thankyou to everyone who purchased a pattern! Here's a picture of the emailed receipt.

That makes a grand total of a nice even $1000! I'll email Toni and Carli tonight so they can add it to their GRAND-DADDY total of all the auctions and raffles running (to be announced Wednesday evening). They will be posting a master list of all of the raffles still running (tomorrow morning) - just click on the button below.

Update: and here's the GRAND-DADDY total - wow wow wow!

Thank you Toni and Carli for organising this. It was a pleasure to be able to help out in such a fun way (its always great to have an excuse to make a quilt in a few days!), and its been wonderful to see so many come together for such a worthy cause.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Quilt Auction and Patterns for Flood Appeal ends Monday 9pm

The cost of clean up and rebuilding after the flooding in Queensland is going to be immense and will take a very long time. Most of us can't be there to personally help with the clean up, but we can give generously to the many auctions and raffles that are going on in our crafting community. There's still time to put in your bid - you can find the master list HERE.

I want to say a heartfelt thankyou to Shari for her amazing bid on my quilt - $500! - I'm stunned at the generosity out there! And thankyou so much to everyone who has bought patterns. We're up to $310 $460 - can we get to $500 in the next 24 hours? $500 raised from the patterns!! Thanks so much!  If you would like to bid on my quilt or buy a pattern, you can find all the details HERE. It will close at 9pm Monday (ACST)  - instead of midnight as previously advertised.

A huge job ahead (Photo Source)

The inspirational Toni and Carli have worked tirelessly over the last 2 weeks organising and promoting the flood appeals, and 4 days ago the total raised was $45,000!! I take my hat off to you girls. I can't wait to see what the grand total is. Although the Auctions will close tomorrow night, most of the raffles will run until midday on Wednesday, so if you missed out on an auction, there'll still be plenty of ways to win something lovely, and give at the same time.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Introducing the Janome 1600p QC

** Quilt Auction and Patterns for Flood Appeal HERE**

After all the research and debating about which sewing machine to get (you can find that post here) I finally decided on the Janome 1600P QC. I picked it up after Christmas and I'm absolutely thrilled with it!

I decided long ago that when I bought my very first sewing machine it wouldn't have a whole lot of electronic bells and whistles on. It would just sew a good stitch, sew it very well, and last for a long time. I think I've achieved that in this machine. It sews beautifully and is very simple to use... a real dream machine... and look at all that space for quilting bigger quilts!

It comes with some handy extras - a fantastically big extension table, a knee lift, a very accurate seam guide and a darning foot (you have to screw on the darning plate instead of dropping the feed dogs which takes a little extra effort). Threading the machine is a little more involved than my other machine, but after a couple of times, it became really easy. I love love love the thread cutter! It really does make things faster.

It even comes with a rolled hem foot. I've never used one before, so I tried it out on this super soft double gauze fabric to create a baby wrap, and it was really very easy and fast. I might make a couple more of these for bubs.

The one thing it didn't come with was an even feed quilting foot. I was told that it wasn't a necessary attachment and you could quilt without it. The regular foot seemed to do a good job at first, but then I noticed it pulling and puckering (the stitches on the left), so I went and bought a quilting foot, and it quilted beautifully without pulling (as you can see on the right). I played around with the tension and pressure, but found that the best settings were the ones it came with (around 3 for both tension and pressure).

It also came with a bonus little sewing machine and scissors! The sewing machine has batteries, so I've joked that I can sew in bed... Todd's not laughing!

These softies were my first little projects on my new machine (I squeezed them in while unpacking and they took no time at all).

My kids love snuggling into them at bed time (softies panel available here).

By the way, there's a great giveaway for some adorable Sherbet Pips fabric running here.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Quilt Auction and Patterns

I've never sold a quilt before. I have limited sewing time, and there's just too much time and effort that goes into a quilt, let alone material costs, that it just isn't worth it to me. I have a huge family, so most of my quilts have been given away to them.

BUT... when the very thoughtful Toni emailed me about the Auctions she was planning, to give relief to flood victims in Queensland, I jumped on my sewing machine almost straight away to make this quilt as my contribution. I finished the binding late last night and look photos early this morning (hence the poor lighting) - just in time to join in with all the other auctions running (you can find the master list here).

This quilt measures 104cm x 128cm (41" x 50") and is made using my Skittles pattern and Saffron Craig's beautiful Bird Tree and Forest Elemental ranges (most of which have sold out), as well as Kona Cotton Solid fabrics. It's fully reversible and would make a great baby or toddler quilt, or even a knee rug for someone older. I loved using my new sewing machine (which I'll tell you about soon!) to quilt straightish lines varying from 1/4 to 3/4 inches apart. The binding was attached by hand on the back. Being cotton with bamboo batting, it can be thrown in the washing machine and dryer and will only get softer and snugglier with use.

How this auction works:
1.  Bidding will start at $100 (Australian).
2.  You can place a bid by leaving a comment on this blog post with your bid amount and email address.  Please make sure that your bid is higher than the previous bidder.  
3.  Your bid must be in whole dollar increments.
4.  This auction is open to everyone. I will cover the postage costs.
5.  The auction begins NOW and will END at midnight 9pm on Monday 24th January 2011 (my time).
6.  At the close of the auction, I will contact the winner (please make sure your bid comment includes your email address).  The winner will pay the winning amount directly into the Premier's Flood Relief Appeal and send me proof of payment via email.  Once proof of payment has been received, I will post your quilt to you.
7.  Thank you for participating and happy bidding!

If the quilt is a little out of your price range, you could buy one (or more) of my patterns. I will be donating all of the proceeds from my pdf patterns that sell this week, ending Monday 24th Jan (or up to $500 - I'll let you know if we get to that amount!) - now closed. You can find all of my patterns here. Thanks so much for your generosity in buying patterns - we've achieved the goal of raising $500 from the patterns!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Can't stop to chat...

... must... keep... sewing

... see you Monday for the Auction.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Queensland flood relief

I heard today that my sister in laws and cousins in Queensland are safe, although hemmed in from the extensive flooding that is now covering much of Queensland and northern New South Wales. Many many others are not so lucky. My heart and prayers go out to the thousands affected, and especially to those who have lost loved ones.


I will be joining with Toni (from Make it Perfect) and many other bloggers to help raise money for those who have lost so much. There will be a master list on Toni's blog of everyone who is running auctions, beginning Monday 17th Jan. Please let her know (by this Friday at the latest) if you would like to auction something on your blog, and she can add your link.

I started on a quilt this afternoon and have been working on it furiously with the hope that it will be finished by Monday, in time for the Auction. All proceeds will go directly to the Queensland Government Flood Relief Appeal. Hopefully we can band together to make a small, but practical difference to those who are in much need at this time.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Matt and Freja's wedding quilt

Remember the manly quilt?

It was a wedding present for my brother, Matt and his lovely new wife, Freja. They were married just before Christmas, and it was a wonderful day. Welcome to the family, Freja. I'm sure you'll fit in just fine with us 6 girls!

I really enjoyed making this quilt and fortunately it was well received. Although I was going for a more masculine look with the fabric and design, I think it can be appreciated by both sexes. I'd be happy to have it over the back of my lounge.

As Matt is 6 foot 7", I had to make it bigger than usual to cover his toes!

I machine quilted the sashing and borders with dense straight lines. My machine couldn't quite cope with all the quilting so I had to borrow Becky's Bernina, and it cruised though it without a hitch.

Then I hand quilted random lines in the blocks with a variety of colours using perle cotton no. 8. Hand quilting through the linen/cotton was hard going at times, but I'm glad I persisted.

I'm pleased with how the hand quilting showed up on the back too.

I should probably give the quilt back to them now that I've taken some pictures :) Although with this heat, it may be a while before there'll be any snuggling under it.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Fabulous Fabric Finds

I hope you have been enjoying your holidays. Christmas and New Year have been both wonderful and stressful for me. I loved celebrating Christmas with  family, spending our days lazing around the pool and at the beach, playing games, hiking, visiting Taronga Zoo, talking and laughing together.

But in amongst all the celebrations there's been packing, cleaning and teary goodbyes as we moved house. Not fun... but made bearable by all of my amazing family (on both Todd's and my side) who put in long hours to help.

It's exhasting work, especially when you're 6 months pregnant.  I haven't had the time or energy to tell you about some of the little Christmas presents I made, or to celebrate my 1 year blogging anniversary on Christmas Eve, or to do a 2010 wrap up, but I feel like I'm starting to emerge from the boxes and can share a bit with you again.

I snuck in a visit to Hettie's Patch yesterday. Every time I visit this store I seem to find something amazing and this time was no exception. I could hardly believe my eyes! I've been wanting to get my hands on Aneela's Sherbet Pips ever since I first saw it. Apparently its not out until April!

I also picked up these super soft fabrics to make some wraps and bibs for the baby.

I was very excited to receive this fabric from Saffron - her brand new Beetle Bugs range as well as some fabric to make softies. Its just too cruel to have all of this beautiful fabric with no time to sew, but hopefully that will change soon. I have a pattern in mind for these beetley bugs.

Maybe I can sneak in stitching together a couple of softies today while no one is looking.

I bought this fabric just before the move - some of Alexander Henry's June Bug in Tea colourway (available here)...

And my new sister in law, Freja, went all the way to Prints Charming to find this gorgeous little baby mobile kit for me for Christmas.

And last, but by no means least, an online friend, Bec, found these (out of print) Heather Ross spots and stripes fabrics which coordinate with the other Lightening Bug fabrics I have, and generously shared her fabulous find with me. Thanks Bec!

I have lots more to share with you, and am looking forward to reading of your news as I catch up on my blog reading. Hopefully it wont be so long between posts next time.